Best Nonstick Frying Pans From Consumer Reports' Tests

    With these must-have pans, making perfect eggs and golden pancakes has never been easier

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    Tester frying egg on non-stick pan Photo: Stephen Yang

    When it comes to cookware, there’s nothing as useful as a good nonstick frying pan. This type has the biggest market share by far, says CR market analyst Marion Spencer-Wilson.

    It’s easy to see why. Eggs and anything else you cook simply glide off nonstick surfaces, and cleanup is a cinch. “Nonstick pans are much easier to clean than stainless and other types of frying pans,” says Cindy Fisher, who oversees CR’s cookware tests. “All you need is a little soap and water.”

    Below are the best nonstick frying pans from our tests, listed in alphabetical order. These pans excel at cooking beautiful pancakes and fried eggs that don’t stick. And they’re tough: All of them withstood 2,000 strokes with steel wool, scoring Very Good to Excellent on our durability test. (At home, though, make sure you’re treating your nonstick pan right.)

    These nonstick picks come in a range of prices, and you’ll notice that some of the least expensive pans rival the most expensive in terms of performance. For more choices, see our full frying pan ratings. You can also consult our cookware buying guide for details on other pots and pans, including stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, and copper.

    CR’s take: The All-Clad Essentials skillet comes in a pack of two sizes—8.5 and 10.5 inches. We tested the larger one, which aced our cooking evenness test with an Excellent rating and also did very well on the food release test. The handle stays cool to the touch but became a little wiggly during our sturdiness test. And durability is a notch below our top rating, although it still earns a Very Good.

    CR’s take: You really can’t go wrong with the Anolon Advanced Nonstick frying pans; there are two in this set, a 10-inch and a 12-inch. Cooking evenness was superb in our tests, so you can make perfect pancakes to your heart’s content. Our fried eggs slid out without a nudge. The handle is sturdy and stays cool to the touch when you’re cooking. And the coating is durable, scoring a Very Good on our tests.

    CR’s take: We liked the Cuisinart Green Gourmet Hard Anodized pan for its even cooking. Pancakes brown nicely, and eggs slide out without leaving any traces behind. It stands up in our durability test, in which we punish the pan with 2,000 swipes of steel wool. The handle is sturdy and stays cool to the touch, a plus as you make breakfast or any other meal.

    CR’s take: The handle on this pan can get a bit wobbly over time, but otherwise we liked the Fissler Adament Comfort Aluminum because our pancakes cooked like a dream and fried eggs slid out with nearly a nudge. And, to its credit, the handle stays cool while you’re cooking, and the pan passed our durability test with flying colors (Excellent).

    CR’s take: There’s no need to worry about making a perfect breakfast with the GreenLife Soft Grips pan. Pancakes and eggs were a cinch to cook, leaving almost nothing behind to clean; all you need is a paper towel. The handle stays cool to the touch when cooking, and this pan aced our durability test, so you can expect the coating to last.

    CR’s take: The 10-inch GreenPan Padova Reserve frying pan is included as part of a set, but you can buy it separately in open stock. (The skillet comes as part of a two-pan set that also includes an 8-inch version.) And like the set it comes with, the GreenPan Padova frying pan stands out in our list of nonstick cookware. Eggs easily slid out of the pan one after another, leaving nothing behind and earning an Excellent rating on the food release test. Cooking evenness is also top-notch. The handle stays cool to the touch and is sturdy. And while the nonstick ceramic coating did well on our durability tests, some skillets fared better.

    CR’s take: This nonstick frying pan comes from a brand known more for its colorful cast-iron cookware. While the Le Creuset Toughened Pro skillet may look drab in comparison, it has the same cooking chops. It aced our cooking evenness test with an Excellent rating and did almost as well, although not perfectly, on the food-release test. And it can take a lot of punishment. Durability and handle sturdiness are top-notch, and the handle stays cool to the touch as you make your meal.

    CR’s take: Made in Cookware sells direct to consumers online, and this nonstick skillet is part of its offerings. It’s got everything you want in a nonstick frying pan, offering even cooking, an easy-to-clean surface, and a handle that’s sturdy and stays cool in your hand, no potholder needed. 

    CR’s take: Despite its name, the Red Copper nonstick pan is made of aluminum, but the coating is copper-colored. The pan earns Excellent ratings for both heating evenness and food release, two qualities you want in a nonstick pan. The handle isn’t as sturdy as that of some of its competitors’, but it does stay cool to the touch when you’re cooking

    CR’s take: The nonstick cast-aluminum Swiss Diamond frying pan earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness, and our fried eggs didn’t stick. It earns our top rating for durability, withstanding the punishment of our steel-wool abrasion test. Construction is sturdy, and the handle stays cool to the touch during cooking.


    Mary H.J. Farrell

    Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.